Recent diary entries
I've finished adding NY waterways. Lakes and ponds came from a NYS shapefile. I threw away everything but the latitude and longitude, and used it as an index to trace bodies of water. I got the name off the USGS Topographic map. Streams and rivers came from Wikipedia's list of New York State Rivers and Streams. All it has is the name and watershed. I used that to locate the waterway, and traced it off Bing.
Also fixed up the Hudson River bank, which was a bit under-digitized. Too few clicks. Much better now.
Been mapping New York State's waterways, and adding bridges.
I've started to get serious about adding landuse= and natural= to my local area. Makes the map look MUCH more filled-out. I encourage you to try it. Yes, you. Right there. Yep, don't look around, I mean you.
What else needs mapping in Potsdam, NY, all you OSMers? http://osm.org/go/Zd3I6tA
Well .... I'm mostly done with the steam/diesel railroads in New York. Moving on to the trolley / interurban roads. Going to be a LOT more work because the trolleys were usually street-running. That means adding a lot of railway=abandoned to roads.
Okay, this is totally creepy. The walks in front of the building where I work are aligned in the shape of a pentagram. And guess whose symbol is on the cornerstone of the building? Yep, the Masonic square and compass.
There's a railroad on Long Island which has been abandoned for over a hundred years. The right-of-way is still very visible, however. Somebody (am too lazy to look up whom) decided that the right-of-way (ROW) should be preserved, so they didn't allow any development on the ROW. So, a bunch of backyards in Queens between 87th and 88th streets have extra-deep backyards, as do those between Stewart Road and Peck Avenue. Also, the Kissena Corridor (amenity=park) owes its existance to the protection of this ROW. A portion of the railroad at the very southern end was still being used until a couple of decades ago, so there's still an abandoned bridge (for which I need to get a photo for my Flickr page of such). But other than that, I know of no physical traces of the railroad.
They gave up protecting the ROW about 30 years ago, so there's a school built on it, plus a few apartment buildings. Tear those down, though, and you could run the railroad straight through everything.
Been working on New York State railroads. I built up, over the course of about six years, a database of NYS railroads, digitized off USGS topo maps and ortho photos. It is, for the most part, better than the TIGER data, but not everywhere. So ... I've been importing it all by hand, mile by mile, line by line, combining it with existing TIGER railroads, or in the case of abandoned railroads, existing TIGER tracks, paths, and roads.
I've finished with the Erie-Lackawanna. Other major roads still to be done include the LIRR, the LV, the NYC, the NYNH&H, and the Pennsy. Been working on the import since 2006, but only seriously since July of 2009. I still have 252 lines to go. At one a day (which is about what it takes), that's a year worth of work days.
New York is a BIG state, and it had a LOT of railroads. Specifically, the total number of miles in New York State that were ever graded for tracks is: (drum roll, please) 14811.17 miles.